03-23-2010, 08:17 AM
Status: The Gunslinger
Join Date: Mar 2008
| | UFC 111: Georges St. Pierre isn't underestimating Dan Hardy
UFC 111: Georges St. Pierre isn't underestimating Dan Hardy - ESPN
Before a bout, many fighters rave about their wrestling, boxing or jiu-jitsu, whichever skill they deem superior to an opponent's. No such talk is uttered from the mouth of Georges St. Pierre. |
The UFC welterweight champion doesn't rely on any one discipline; he doesn't have to: He can do it all. St. Pierre is a true mixed martial artist, which is a rarity in the sport.
A native of Saint-Isidore, Quebec, St. Pierre never talks about dominating an opponent standing or on the ground. He doesn't predict knockouts or submissions. There is only one guarantee he will make before entering the Octagon: a victory.
It's a routine St. Pierre follows before every one of his fights. And he hasn't strayed from that routine leading into his Saturday night showdown with top contender Dan Hardy.
St. Pierre and Hardy will square off at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The UFC 111 main event is also available on pay-per-view ($44.95) at 10 p.m. ET.
When St. Pierre walks toward the cage, he will bring a multitude of skills with him -- wrestling, Muay Thai, boxing, jiu-jitsu and a host of other highly evolved artistic disciplines.
Whatever situation arises during the bout, St. Pierre will be more than prepared to handle it. That's the advantage of being a mixed martial artist. An argument can be made that St. Pierre is the only true mixed martial artist in the welterweight division.
Hardy will look to win this fight, preferably by knockout, and become welterweight champ. St. Pierre plans to put on a mixed martial arts clinic.
"I'm a martial artist. I call myself a martial artist, because I come from different backgrounds of martial arts," St. Pierre said during a recent conference call. "I've been a student of the game for a very long time, and when I'm going to fight, I'm not going to only to make a brawl … I want to use my technique. I want to win in beautiful fashion.
"When somebody, who doesn't know the sport of mixed martial arts, watches me fight, I want him to say: 'That guy uses beautiful technique.'"
While possessing superior technical skills might generate confidence in most fighters, it's only half the equation for St. Pierre. Being mentally superior is equally important to the champion's success.
"I believe I'm more well-rounded," said St. Pierre, who is 19-2-0 and riding a six-fight win streak. "I have more knowledge, and by being a martial artist, I'm going to win the fight."
Despite the high level of skill and knowledge St. Pierre will carry into battle Saturday night, Hardy is undaunted. He doesn't refer to himself as a martial artist, just a fighter.
Whether he is a true mixed martial artist or not, Hardy remains a big underdog. It is a tag that has been assigned to Hardy in several of his recent fights.
Rather than complain that he is not appreciated, Hardy (23-6-0, 1 no contest) uses his underdog status as motivation. He seems to enjoy proving the disbelievers wrong.
"I've been in this situation a hundred times before," said Hardy, a resident of Nottingham, England. "Every time I step in the cage, I'm supposed to lose.
"Marcus Davis was supposed to knock me out; he was too strong for me. Mike Swick was too fast for me. … I'm stepping into this fight a bigger underdog than I have been before, which is just going to make me perform better.
"In this fight, if I was looking at it from a fan perspective or a betting perspective, obviously George is the safe bet. But I know myself, and I know what I'm capable of. When people doubt me, it just gets me more excited for the fight."
There is one person who does not doubt Hardy's abilities: Georges St. Pierre. Despite the overwhelming number of advantages he possesses entering this fight, the champion is not taking his challenger lightly.
The previous time St. Pierre entered a fight against a heavy underdog, he was flattened. Matt Serra stopped him in the first round at UFC 69 to capture the title.
That fight remains one of the biggest upsets in MMA history. Inspired by that event, Hardy visited Serra recently on Long Island and trained with him for several weeks.
"I think [Serra] looks at me and sees the situation I'm in as exactly the same situation he was in the first time [he fought St. Pierre]," Hardy said. "No one gave him a snowflake's chance in hell, and he had a lot of belief in himself.
"He was very generous with his knowledge and his time. He was just helping me out a lot."
Since the loss to Serra, some have questioned the stability of St. Pierre's chin, including the hard-hitting Hardy. St. Pierre dismisses those critics and is quick to point out that Serra caught him behind the ear, not on the chin.
Though he would exact revenge on Serra, a second-round stoppage at UFC 83 in April 2008, St. Pierre has never been fully satisfied. A win over Hardy could fill that void.
"It's a chance for me to redeem myself," St. Pierre said. "I'm in a little bit of the same situation I was when I fought Serra the first time."
There is one major difference: It's highly unlikely Hardy will catch St. Pierre behind the ear Saturday night. St. Pierre learned from his loss to Serra, and has developed into one of the few true mixed martial artists competing in MMA today. Hardy will learn that taking St. Pierre's title is a very difficult task.
"To be truly walking on the warrior's path, we have to bring our minds back to the time when we were not ashamed of our dreams; when reality had not yet frustrated our ambitions; when our desire was still too strong to be repressed, and our spirit refused to surrender in resignation; when we were not yet doctors, businessmen, or lawyers, but still wanted to be heroes, leaders, bodhisattvas. The first step on the way to being warriors is to get back in touch with our dreams."
03-23-2010, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Muskoka, ON
Originally Posted by MirJitsu
Not entirely sure that Hardy and Serra are in the same situation. Hardy has won 4 fights in a row. Serra beat some people on TUF to fight for the title. He had already been cut from the UFC. I guess they could be considered in the same situation in that neither of them really deserve a title shot (not having fought top guys first) and that they are both huge underdogs.
I am thinking that St. Pierre is actually training for this fight super hard, he knows how to now. I just pray that he doesn't injure his groin in this fight and lose. I am expecting to see less high kicks in this fight from him.
St. Pierre by tko corner stoppage 3rd round
LW-Stout, Cerrone, Jim Miller
WW-GSP, Fitch, Goulet, Rory
HW-Carwin, Barry, Russow
classic - "this is the dumbest thing Ive ever heard. thats like me having a picture of Hitler posted, and saying "I dont believe in his politics, but I like to hear him talk" W.Silva>C.Norris
HOSS-Bork, you should spend more time brushing up on your MMA history, and less time complementing guys on how young their penises taste.
03-23-2010, 01:53 PM
Status: Couch Fighter II: Turbo
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Northern Virginia
Originally Posted by Chute_Boxe44
Allll this hype over nothing. Everytime St. Pierre fights we here the same old story about Serra. Hasn't he redeemed himself yet? I mean does anyone here actually think Hardy is going to be the one to stop him? I just think it's so ridiculous how everyone thinks that this guy has what it takes stylistically. If Thiago Alves couldn't do it Hardy sure as hell won't. I am NOT buying into this "underdog" bandwagon garbage.
He will be dominated just like everyone else St. Pierre has fought in his last 6 fights. That's the reality of it folks. I will eat my words if I'm wrong.
I agree wholeheartedly.
The only thing that has me raising my eyebrows is the fact that Greg Jackson is not mentioned with regards to St-Pierre's training camp. Jackson (at least to me) is a master strategist and trains his fighters well for upcoming fights, taking into account the opponent's strengths and weaknesses. I think he has done a great job for GSP in the past.
Does anyone know if there are problems between GSP and Greg Jackson?
Georges "Rush" St-Pierre, Cain Velasquez
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